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Gladys Knight.. DMX to Patti LaBelle vs. Babyface and Snoop Dogg vs. Originally launched on Instagram Live, Verzuz has since expanded into multiple partnerships, including Apple Music and Twitter, and has hosted a wide variety of artists spanning generations, ranging from Teddy Riley vs.
The setting for his Verzuz is no coincidence, as the Apollo holds meaning not only for D’Angelo but also his possible “Friends,” who could include any of the above artists as well as many others. D'Angelo surfaces into public view so rarely that speculation quickly emerged about a new album, but similar rumors have arisen many times over the past two decades, and he's released one album in 21 years.
The battle will take place on Saturday, Feb. 27 at Harlem’s historic Apollo Theater, where virtually every R&B legend from Billie Holiday and Stevie Wonder to Lauryn Hill and, of course, D’Angelo has performed. Reclusive R&B superstar D’Angelo will face off against unnamed “Friends” in a Verzuz DJ battle aimed straight at the hearts of the series’ core audience.
 
Monica matchup, D’Angelo is a bullseye for that audience. The internet lit up on Valentine's Day night with speculation about who the “friends” might be for this episode of Verzuz, the online DJ-battle series that finds artists playing their hits against a contemporary artist in a (usually) friendly competition while fans cheer on via social media. Gucci Mane). Like the Brandy vs. It almost immediately became a lockdown favorite, particularly with the demographic that loves the R&B and hip-hop of the 1990s-early 2000s and is also active on social media. Erykah Badu, or Alicia Keys “vs.” John Legend), while others present artists who genuinely had differences in the past (Brandy vs. Monica and especially Jeezy vs. Launched last year by veteran songwriter-producers Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, the series plays up the drama between the two artists like a sports competition — the more backstory, the better. Sometimes it’s a lovefest (like Jill Scott vs.
The Virginia-born singer burst onto the scene in the mid-1990s on the wave of “new retro soul” artists ranging from Erykah Badu and Maxwell to the Roots and Fugees, with a sound that was informed by both hip-hop and the classic R&B the artists grew up on. He finally re-emerged with 2014’s powerful “Black Messiah,” but dropped from sight after a tour in support of the album — which included a special show at the Apollo, a venue he also had played early in his career. Due in no small part to the steamy video for his song “Untitled (How Does It Feel),” D’Angelo was poised for superstardom with his 2000 album “Voodoo,” but became uncomfortable with the attention and effectively vanished for almost 15 years, touring rarely and playing pickup shows with longtime collaborator Questlove.
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“Dedicate a couple of hours to justice, to righteousness, to our community and to love,” Ava DuVernay told Variety about her powerful limited series “When They See Us,” which dramatizes the accusation, conviction and eventual exoneration of the Central Park Five.
“What is so important about this telling of the story is that Ava goes inside the houses. You see what all this does to mom and dad. You see what this does to brothers and sisters,” Joshua Jackson, who plays Antron McCray's defense lawyer, told Variety. The cast reflected on the necessity of this series, celebrating the evening with a sense of urgency. It doesn't end when they get released. “The horror doesn't end at incarceration. It is an unending stream of terror that the state visits upon these kids' heads.”
“And the only reason there's a silver lining is because these extraordinary men didn't just go to prison, but found a way to make their lives meaningful.” Niecy Nash, who plays Korey Wise's mother, Delores, in the series, echoed the timeliness of the story, saying, “it could have happened yesterday.” “We shouldn't have to tell this story, but we are,” Christopher Jackson told Variety.
This a celebration of them; it's a celebration of their triumph and survival,” said Caleel Harris, who plays the young McCray in the series. “This is a night of celebration. Freddy Miyares, who plays Santana, added: “This should be a commemoration of their lives, and I think it's amazing that they can get together and know that they're here and being honored in this way.”
“When They See Us” debuts May 31 on Netflix.” />
“Tonight, as celebratory as this is and as much as I salute Ava, let's not forget that we're sitting in the Apollo Theater, and he's sitting in the White House.” Al Sharpton. “The thing that got me most was when Donald Trump, who had never taken a position on any race case in New York, bought ads to advocate for executing these boys, to give them the death penalty,” remembered Rev.
Black and brown boys are demonized by the media and the public, and all of these young boys' lives were turned upside down by a lie," she continued. They could be any of the young men who've lost their lives because we saw them as something they were not.” They could Mike Brown. "They could be Trayvon Martin. It continues to happen. “It is happening.
“The damage is done and the damage is continuing for a lot of people in this country still. Have we been righteous in doing that?" Justin Cunningham, who plays the adult Kevin Richardson, says the series is about more than the visitation of justice. I don't think it's about asking 'has justice been served,' but has our society been righteous in how we view people of color, how we view black men and how we understand our justice system?
“It was so emotional to be sitting on the corner of Central Park and 110th Street, sitting in front of Schomburg Plaza, sitting with Kevin Richardson, watching as all the kids were running through the park and hearing him say, 'All I did wrong that day was follow my friend.'” Having the men involved in the creative process “made it real for all of us, for all of our actors,” Jane Rosenthal, producer and CEO of Tribeca Enterprises, recalled.
It was only fitting for them to walk the red carpet, given how closely they worked with the Academy Award nominee and director, and her cast and crew on the making of the show. The four-part series tells their story, spanning 25 years — beginning when the teenagers were first questioned in 1989, and continuing through their exoneration in 2002 and the settlement they reached with the city in 2014. The five men — Korey Wise, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam and Raymond Santana — all between 14 and 16 years old when they were wrongfully arrested for the brutal rape of a Central Park jogger in 1989, attended the premiere at the Apollo Theater in New York on Monday night.